The latest, dramatic, last-minute delay has left many in the industry scratching their heads, if not actively pulling their hair out.
Now, there’s no denying that everyone wants the code to be robust and that any loopholes are tied up — the last thing we want is to have a code that introduces further ambiguity into a situation that is already fraught.
However, this last-minute delay has caused consternation among tenants facing an upcoming rent review and I would echo campaigners calls for the pubcos to honour the original date and offer any tenants caught out by the delay the same opportunities they would have had if things had gone to plan.
Of course, by the letter of the law, there’s no obligation on the companies to do this, but I’d urge the companies to act in good faith and, as a gesture towards moving forward in a positive way, honour that original date.
The fact that every company, and their representatives, are shying away from making any such commitment is a concern. If we’re to try to move forward and mend some of the damages of the past, this would be a good place to start. Let’s see a positive response from the pub companies on this.
Meanwhile, our interview with Paul Newby caused a stir among some campaigners, who were quick to condemn his calls to meet, claiming they have rejected any attempts by Newby or the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills to arrange a meeting.
I understand their sentiments — that by meeting someone they fundamentally reject as flawed, it would suggest they were somehow endorsing his appointment.
However, to refuse to engage on any level runs the risk of their own organisations being sidelined as everyone else moves forward, and in many ways, that kind of behaviour is reminiscent of a child putting their fingers in their ears and chanting to avoid hearing the reality of the situation.
In the long run, it’s probably not going to have any great effect. I’ve always found it better to be involved if you want to shape the outcome.
Talking about living in denial, I was also interested to read the results of our survey on Brexit, which appears to show a leaning towards breaking from Europe in the hospitality sector. Having recently seen leave campaigner and Government minister Priti Patel speak at the ALMR spring conference and speaking to operators afterwards, I got the impression the mood was more the other way.
Certainly, Patel offered little comfort to those concerned about the impact leaving would have on migrant worker numbers.
One of the issues claimed is that leaving the EU would lead to a cut in red tape, but seeing as the UK seems to love gold-plating EU regulations beyond what is necessary, I fail to see how that would change!
On a more positive note, following on from our Summer of Sport issue last week, this week we bring you a Sky Sports Summer Calendar to help you stay ahead of all the action. A huge summer of sport ahead presents plenty of money-making opportunities for pubs and bars, with Super Summer Days throughout May, June, July and August. So, with the good weather upon us (as I write), this summer looks set to be a corker!